Mumby St. Thomas Church

Mumby Church The church is dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury and it's Patron is the Bishop of Lincoln. The Patronal festival is 29th December.
(The Rector of Mumby is the Patron of Chapel St Leonards)

The church was restored in 1843-4 and the chancel rebuilt in 1847. The Nave was reordered in 1999 for community use and opened by the Bishop of Grimsby in 2000.

(The following desciption was taken from the Penguin book, The buildings of England - Lincolnshire, written by Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris and revised by Nicholas Antram in 1989.)

The earliest part of the church are the arcades. First North then South, both 13th Cent. with double chamfered arches. The N/W respond is still purely Norman (scalloped capital) and the North piers are circular with elementary upright stiff-leaf capitals and circular abaci.

The South capitals are much freer stiff leaf varieties, the abaci are octagonal and the East respond is keeled. On the North side the hoodmould stops still include one of the long-snouted Norman monsters. Another is a beast devouring a man's head. The South side has leaf stops and dogtooth on the hoodmoulds themselves. These two arcades are three bays long but a fourth was added on both sides shortly after and the chancel arch goes with this.

Inside Mumby Church The South doorway, on the other hand, belongs to the earlier parts of the South arcade. It is nice, with its two orders of shafts, the dogtooth bands between them, the stiff-leaf capitals and the dogtooth in the arch. Decorated North aisle windows (reticulation in the East window). Perpendicular West tower is quite stately. It is of ashlar. Early English clerestory with pairs of small lancets of greenstone.

The font is decorated octagonal, tall bowl and in each panel a different motif of flowing tracery, set between thin buttress-shafts.

Most of the motifs are familiar from windows but one or two are pure fancy. The screen has fine, two-light divisions consisting of a Y and cusped ogees in either half of the Y. Coving and loft are not original but make the whole more impressive. Some tracery now used in the bench ends of the chancel seats. The stained glass East window, by Mayer & Co. In 1867, still pictorial. Churchyard cross- the octagonal base and the lower part of the shaft remain- probably 14th century.

The Bells

The Bells

The first treble, (No.1), has a diameter of 35 inches and weighs 8cwt. It was cast in 1820 by James Harrison of Barton-on-Humber in Lincolnshire, and is one of about eighty bells cast by him between 1789 and 1833. He was a well known founder who also cast bells for Newcastle and Lincoln cathedrals.

The second and third trebles, (Nos. 2 & 3), were cast in 1420 by an unknown medieval founder who worked in Cambridgeshire. Most of his bells are to be found there but many are to be found in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The 2nd bell has a diameter of 37 inches and weighs about 9cwt, whilst the 3rd has a diameter of 41 inches and weighs 11cwt. The inscriptions on both are in Latin. The 2nd bears the inscription "Sit nomen Domini Benedictum", the translation of which is 'Blessed be the Name of the Lord'. The inscription on the 3rd is 'In Multis annini Resonet Campana Johannis' which translates as 'For many years may Johns bell resound'. The inscriptions are written in black letters and have crowned capitals.

The tenor (No. 4), was cast by Nottinghamshire founder Daniel Hedderly, who is known to have cast about 75 bells between 1723 and 1759. He was known for casting 'rings' of bells and he cast the lightest ring of four in Lincolnshire, in 1740 at Scremby. However, as his bells 'don't sound very good', not many examples survive. This particular bell has a diameter of 44 inches and dates from 1737. It is the heaviest of the four main bells, weighing about 15cwt, and its inscription reads 'My Roreing Sound Warning Doth Give That Man On Earth Shall Not Long Live'.

The Priests bell is much smaller and it also looks to be the work of Daniel Hedderly. It is thought to have been cast at the same time as the tenor bell but, as the bell is blank this can not be verified.

The bell frame is a substantial timber construction in which the bells are suspended. It appears to have been a three bell frame, type 'Z' and partly type 'V but, when the treble bell was added in 1820, the frame was extended to a type 'S'. Bells 1,3 & 4 swing East-West and No.2 swings North-South. The total weight of the Mumby bells is about 3 tons.

The Clock The Clock Face

The clock was built in 1816 by J. Ellerby and Son of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Its early history is unknown and there is no known record of its installation. It is a three train arrangement, the centre train being for the clock itself and the outer trains driving the hour and the quarter striking. The escapement is unusual for this type of clock and is known as 'Pin and Palett'.

In 1972 no-one could be found to perform the task of winding up the drive weights and lubricating the mechanism and the clock fell into disuse. The weights were lowered, taken off the ropes and stored in the corner of the tower as a safety precaution. However, in early 1994, the vicar, the Revd Daffyd Robinson, raised the idea at a public meeting of restoring the clock to its former glory. This challenge was taken up with great enthusiasm by two Mumby residents Steve Mugglestone and Paddy Stapleton.

On June 20th 1994 they made a start. Their first job was to remove the many years of accumulated debris of straw, twigs and dust which had been deposited by the birds, who had gained access through a broken window. This lay to a depth of about a foot over the floor, clock cupboard and windowsills. The whole clock chamber of the tower was also cleaned out.

Over the next few weeks, the clock mechanism was thoroughly washed and scrubbed with diesel oil to remove all the old oil and dust. Then the bearings were cleaned and re-oiled. The brasswork now gleaming, it was time to de-rust and paint the iron framework. Then for the moment of truth. The clock was re-started for the first time in 22 years and ... IT WORKED!!!

The Clock Workings Attention then turned to the ropes, pulleys and weights that drive the clock. The rope was taken off and, as far as possible, the twists were removed. It was then thoroughly cleaned and re-oiled. Next the pulleys were taken down, cleaned and renovated. Then the whole thing was re-assembled and the full load of weights was put back on. The two outer trains which, when coupled by wires and levers to the church bells would strike the hours and quarter hours, were also cleaned and oiled. These however, have been left disconnected from the main clock train as not everyone in this day and age wishes to be disturbed by the sound of the bells at all hours of the day and night!

Following the restoration and cleaning work, the clock was allowed to run for a week before being stopped so that the face could be restored and repainted in its original colours, these being a black skeleton frame, white minute divisions and gold numerals and hands. This was carried out during early August 1994 by Steve and Paddy who painted half the face each, Steve being left handed and Paddy being right handed!

The job was completed by 2nd September 1994, with the clock running and keeping good time having been regulated. Paddy and Steve are continueing the weekly task of winding and maintaining the clock and are determined it will not deteriorate to its previous poor condition again.

With this in mind, during intervals when not working on the clock and in an effort to keep out any further bird infestation, they have restored the three windows in the clock chamber. They have also replaced the old dilapidated door in the clock chamber with a window which gives a birds eye view into the nave of the church.

Paddy and Steve are also involved with the maintenance of the church and can be found there every Wednesday morning from 9.15 to 9.45a.m. Why not call in. They are always willing to show visitors around.